Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Sew News Sew Chic Sew Along Week One


The Sew News Sew Chic Sew Along has begun. I actually had to say that on the video!!! What a tongue twister ;)
The blog post is up on the Sew News blog along with the video. I was rather happy and surprised as the video actually turned out fairly well. Of course the production team did a fabulous job, I'm talking about my delivery. It was the first video of the day, I was a little nervous and then I had that incredible tongue twister to try and get out!!
You can find the Sew News blog post HERE.
And if you would like to go ahead and take a look at the video, I've posted it below. This week we are just talking about fabric choices, so there's still time to gather your supplies and join along. If by chance you have not purchased your pattern, you can find it HERE.


Enjoy!
Rhonda

Monday, March 2, 2015

Wearing The Faux Fur Collar

After I published last week's tutorial for the faux fur collar, a number of you asked to see me in the collar as well as the coat. Since I wore the coat today, it made taking pictures easy. The collar, by the way, is wonderful to wear. It kept my neck nice and warm, so I'm very happy:)
The coat has a swing back, so a rather vintage look. It works with so many outfits. Since it's short, it's not the best coat when I need to do a lot of walking around in the cold, but when I'm going from the house to the car and the car to whatever my destination is, it's a great little coat.
 A better picture of the swing back.
I made everything I'm wearing except for my gloves, shoes and hose. You can find the collar tutorial HERE. The dress I'm wearing is from THIS Fabulous Free Pattern Friday post.
Hope you've had a wonderful start to your week.
Not that I'm complaining, as I know that all of you out east have had a much worse winter than we have in Chicago, but this does give you an idea of how much snow we have.

Monday Morning Inspiration

It's March!!!! Spring can't be too far away, I hope, although the ground hog did see his shadow. But regardless, it's March which means that Easter is approaching, and spring can't be too far behind. Fingers crossed anyway :) 
I think what initially caught my eye about this collection, was the bright colors. Then once I took a closer look, I really enjoyed the shapes and the color combinations. The collection is by Serbian born Roksanda Ilincic. She was initially recognized for her ultra-modern, vibrantly-hued evening wear. Since then she has expanded her collection to include separates, dresses and outerwear. Clean lines, bold color blocking, and architectural draping are the hallmarks of her design. In 2012, she won the Red Carpet Award at the British Fashion Awards and has dressed everyone from Cate Blanchett, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, to Michelle Obama.  
So, if you are like me and have had enough of the cold and dreary weather, grab a cup of tea or coffee and enjoy the beautiful colors of this collection. I think you'll be inspired by the shapes as well as the color combinations. I have also included a video of the fashion show so you can see the clothes actually moving. 
Enjoy!













Have a wonderful week!
Rhonda

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Sunday Night Reflections


When you feel like quitting,
Think of why you started.

Eating For Your Future/Sunday's Soup

This past week, two of my friends asked me about my eyes. Both asked in the same manner, a little hesitant. I told them the same thing, I won't know anything more until the end of April, but in the meantime, I'm doing my best to eat a very healthy diet. Actually, the diet is so healthy that my husband jokes about my skin turning green ;)
The first of February, I began the Daniel Diet. My acupuncturist wasn't happy about me drinking only water, so I have tweaked it a bit, a cup of green tea in the morning and a little kombucha everyday. Once a month, she also has me do a kidney flush. The recipe is simple, a gallon of distilled water, juice of 2 lemons and 2 limes, 2 tablespoons of Grade B maple syrup and a teaspoon of cayenne pepper. Mix all ingredients and drink over a 48 hour period. The first time I mixed up the concoction, my husband took a taste and said, "I don't think she likes you very much." The cayenne can be a little shocking, but thankfully, I like spicy things.
For the most part, the diet has gone rather well, although I have succumbed to temptation a few times. The fact that I'm not eating meat is not an issue for me, but I miss cheese! I miss bread! I miss having a little something sweet! I had initially planned to do the diet for 21 days, but I have decided to stay with it through Lent. I've learned a lot about why I crave certain foods and I have realized the link between stress and cravings, and being overly tired and cravings. So another interesting journey....to be continued :).

Now on to this week's recipe. What caught my attention was the title, "The Best Vegan Soup I've Ever Tasted." So I thought, that's enough incentive for me to give it a try! Now that I've made it, I wouldn't necessarily say that it's the best I've ever eaten, but it is awfully good. The soup is full bodied, full of flavor and yet mild. If you like cauliflower, I highly recommend giving it a try. There is one mistake in the instructions, they left out the addition of the chopped cabbage. Be sure to add the cabbage with the other vegetables and cook all together. You can find the original recipe HERE. Be sure to look around a bit as there are lots of great looking recipes on the site. I think I will be camping here for a while :)


Cauliflower Soup
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 pounds cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 1/4 cups green cabbage, roughly chopped
1/2 cup leeks, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1/2 cup parsnip, roughly chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons rosemary, minced
3/4 teaspoon thyme leaves
2 cups coconut milk
2 1/2 cups celery juice (or vegetable stock)
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt (additional to taste)
Black pepper, freshly cracked, to taste
Nutmeg, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat the oil slightly in the stock pot, and sauté the cauliflower, leeks, parsnips,  cabbage, garlic, rosemary, and thyme until the cauliflower is slightly browned.
  2. Add the celery juice (or vegetable stock) and coconut milk. Let simmer for approximately 30 minutes, then season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
  3. Blend until smooth, either using a handheld immersion blender or transferring your soup to a food processor or blender in 2 or 3 batches (depending on the size of your blender.)
*I was not able to get the celery juice, but since I really like the taste of celery, I added 2 stalks of chopped celery and a teaspoon of celery seed to my vegetables. I then used vegetable stock for my liquid.
I served my soup with chopped green onions and toasted pine nuts.
Enjoy!

Friday, February 27, 2015

Fabulous Free Pattern Friday

While looking for some webbing at my local chain fabric store today, I just happened to notice this free pattern tutorial. This was meant as a promotional to sell the faux fur strip that was used to make the collar. I thought it was rather cute and something that I could use, so I tore off a sheet.
I made this coat quite a while ago. It's perfect with skirts, pants and even an evening gown, but the problem is that my neck gets very cold. I could wear a scarf with the jacket and I have, but a scarf is just not quite right.
 The back has a lovely swing.
When I arrived home, I immediately began working on the collar and I am so pleased with the outcome. It's just perfect for the jacket.  As I said, the tutorial was created to sell a 4" wide strip of faux fur. I made a few changes to the tutorial,  quite a few actually, so I will walk you through what I did.
Supplies;
54" long strip of 4" wide piece of faux fur
1 yard of 1" wide ribbon
A small amount of fiber fill for the pom poms

Most people will cut their fur with a pair of scissors. You should not cut fur with scissors. It cuts the hair and makes a mess. Use a razor blade to cut the fur. The blade will cut the backing fabric, but not the hair..
Begin by cutting 2, 4"squares from the end of the fur strip. Set the 2 squares aside for now. Cut the remainder of the strip down to 3"wide. Fold in half and cut into 2 pieces. Take 1 piece and hold it up to your neck to check the circumference. If the strip is too long, cut it down at this point.
Lay the 2 pieces together. Push the fur inside and sew along the edge with a zigzag stitch. Fur should not have a seam allowance.

By sewing the seam with a zigzag stitch, and pushing the fur fibers inside the seam, the fur will cover the seam and look lovely from the outside.
On the other side, leave an opening for turning.
Cut the ribbon in half. I used a velvet ribbon for my ties. Thread the ribbon into the collar and pull it out the end. Zigzag the edge. Be sure to go back and sew a straight stitch across the ribbon to help secure it in the seam. Turn the collar to the right side.
For the pompoms, round off the edges of the 4" squares, and create circles.
 With needle and thread, do a running stitch around the edge of the circle.
Pull the stitches up. Prior to closing the circle, stuff the pompom with a little fiber fill.
Insert the end of the ribbon into the pompom and securely stitch the ribbon into the pompom.
Stitch the side opening closed by hand.
Tie a nice bow and wear the collar with pride.
The collar goes together quickly, in less than an hour. It's just 2 rectangles and 2 circles. Girls of all ages would love this collar, so they would make great gifts. I know this girl is going to enjoy wearing hers ;)

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Thrifty Thursday

Well, at least it's still Thursday in America :)
I came across this cute raglan sleeve t-shirt pattern from On The Cutting Room Floor and decided to give it a try.
The pattern is quite simple, just 3 main pattern pieces. A band for the neckline is included as well as a bottom band of the top. The pattern is boxy with no real shape at the waist, but I knew that could be easily changed.  

My finished t-shirt. I'm very happy with it. I used a sweater knit for the main body and a stretch velvet for the contrast. As you can see, I gave the top some shape along the sides. Just a matter of pinching it in at the waist. The band was left off of the bottom. I felt it gave the top a more casual look and took away from the overall look of the top.
I rarely use the neckband if it is provided in a pattern, as I would rather make my own. I cut a 2" wide strip for my neckband.
The fabric pattern matches fairly well. I could have been a little more precise, but all in all, it looks rather nice.
If you decide to give the pattern a try, pay attention to the scaling and make sure that the guide box measures out correctly after printing. I didn't pay attention when I printed out the pattern the first time and the pattern was a mess. My fault, not the pattern's.
The style is great for just about anyone. It's quite easy to put together. There is an instruction sheet, but I didn't use it.
You can find the pattern HERE. On The Pattern Room Floor has a number of free patterns that you might want to take a look at. There's a couple that I think I will be giving a try.Just click on Sewing at the top of the web page and you will see a link to the patterns.